Vision Therapy Blog

Doctor's Mailbag: January 2017
Inside: Eye Contact for Kids and Training for Vision Therapists

posted on January 27, 2017

In this edition of the Doctor's Mailbag, we take a look at two questions on vastly different topics. First, we answer a question about whether vision could have something to do with kids who struggle to make eye contact. Second, we examine what kind of training sets our vision therapists apart. Keep reading for some great insight on the world of vision therapy and to see how you can get your question included in the next edition.

Q: My kids struggle to make eye contact with adults. Could that have something to do with a need for vision therapy rather than a lack of confidence?

A: Yes, lack of eye contact can most certainly be a sign of a vision disorder. It is a common misnomer that eye contact is a social measure of confidence and attention. Lack of eye contact is also very common is the Autistic population, which are at higher risk of vision problems including eye tracking disorders. One in four school age children have an undiagnosed vision disorder. This statistic is in part due to the confidence our medical community has in using a vision screening (eye chart) to provide a parents with a false sense of security. Vision is neurological, and vision is learned. It changes as kids grow. Visual acuity (20/20) is just 1 of 17 skills that make up the visual system.

The eyes lead the body. We use them to see clearly, to see single, to navigate space, for depth perception (3D) and most importantly to learn. 80% of what our brain processes is through the visual system. If that system is not 100%, then 80% of your brain is using poor or inaccurate information to make big decisions based on that inaccurate information.

Visual acuity is the building block and is always the first place to start. Visual acuity should be measured by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. If the problem is not related to visual acuity, then a more in depth exam that checks all 17 skills is the next step. This exam, called a developmental eye exam, will determine if vision therapy can help. To find a Board Certified Developmental Optometrist visit COVD's website or call our office for an appointment with Dr. Rob Lauver, OD, FCOVD.

Q: How does one become a qualified vision therapist? What standards does your practice have for vision therapists?

A: Vision therapist are the most qualified clinicians to treat vision disorders. Just like Physical Therapists treat large muscles, Vision Therapists are trained to treat the visual system, both mechanically and neurologically. Vision Therapists become certified by the College of Vision Development (COVD) through a rigorous program of clinical hours under a Board Certified Developmental Optometrist along with both written and oral exams. Our Vision Therapists are Certified or enrolled in the Certification program through COVD. The certification requires thousands of clinical hours which our office provides for new Vision Therapy students. We believe that our therapist should never stop learning. Therefore our standards are set very high. Currently we have 3 therapists, 1 certified and 2 who are working through their clinical hours. Each therapist trains for a minimum of 6 months before treating their own patients. Until then, they train under our Certified Vision Therapist and Dr. Lauver.

Have a question we didn't answer?

This mailbag is a monthly feature of the vision therapy blog, and we will do our best to answer every question that is submitted. Use the contact form on this post to submit your question related to vision, vision therapy, eye care, learning, or anything you can think of!

About Advanced Vision Therapy

dr rob lauver About Advanced Vision Therapy

Advanced Vision Therapy is a practice located in Strasburg, PA, that is closely associated with Strasburg Family Eyecare. Accredited by the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, Advanced Vision Therapy has been a leader in vision therapy for over a decade and sees better results than nearly any practice in the area. Check out some of our success stories and contact us for more information.

Pictured: Dr. Rob Lauver

Correcting and improving binocular, oculomotor, visual processing/perceptual and brain injury disorders.© 2017 Advanced Vision Therapy, All Rights Reserved.
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